North Korea has ordered a strict national lockdown after confirming its first official Covid infections, the BBC reports.
State media have reported an Omicron outbreak in the capital, Pyongyang, but did not state the number of cases.
KCNA said leader Kim Jong-un had vowed to eradicate the outbreak, which it called a “severe national emergency” that had breached the country’s “quarantine front”.
But observers believe the virus has long been present in the country.
Outsiders say the nation’s 25 million population is vulnerable as North Korea has declined to administer a Covid-19 vaccine programme, even rejecting offers from the international community to supply millions of AstraZeneca and Chinese-made Sinovac jabs last year.